5 Harvest Festivals for Major Fall Fun

The crisp, cool air means that colorful pumpkins, pears, apples and veggies take center stage this time of year. From corn-shucking contests to races involving giant boats crafted from pumpkins, the following harvest festivals offer up a healthy dose of humor and give us plenty of reasons to celebrate autumn’s juicy bounty.

hay ride

Photo credit: credit: Juhan Sonin via Flickr Creative Commons

Festival of the Farm
This 4th annual fundraiser, which helps protect the White Oak Savannah, offers fun on the farm with barbecued burgers, live music, hay and corn mazes and a craft fair, as well as fresh fruit, veggies and flowers and kids’ activities, like the play with clay booth.

Sept. 13
Fiala Farms
21232 Johnson Rd.
West Linn, Or
Online: nlwl.org

Harvest Fun Day and Food Drive
Bring your little farmers to pick carrots and and corn from the Heritage Farm to donate to the Clark County Food Bank. Afterwards join in a corn-shucking contest, decorate pumpkins, make your own ice cream, twirl to live music, take a tractor ride and make a pine cone birdfeeder.

Sept. 27
78th Street Heritage Farm
1919 NE 78th St.
Vancouver, Wa
Online: cchmuseum.org

Portland Nursery

Photo credit: Mikhail H. via Yelp

Portland Nursery Apple Tasting
It’s all about apples and pears at this free annual tasting. More than 60 varieties of apples and pears are cut into bite-sized samples and placed on paper plates on long tables for tasting. Fresh-pressed cider demonstrations and samples, as well as live music take place all day. Don’t miss the kids’ area at the far end of the nursery, featuring tiny pumpkin painting, a scavenger hunt and face-painting. Apples and pears, as well as apple strudel and caramel apples are available for purchase.

Oct. 10-12 & 17-19
Portland Nursery
5050 SE Stark Ave.
Portland, Or
Online: portlandnursery.com

Hood River Harvest Festival
Enjoy a good, old-fashioned harvest festival along the river for a day full of fun. This huge, 32nd annual event is chockful of local produce, arts and crafts, as well as fall fun for the kiddos in the kids’ zone, like bouncy houses and henna painting for all ages. There’s also pie-eating contests, face-painting, a petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music all day and pumpkin-carving. Load up the car with boxes of apples, pears, flowers and berries to take home.

Oct. 17-19
Hood River Waterfront Park
Hood River, Or
Online: hoodriver.org

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Photo credit: West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
If you’ve never seen the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, you’re in for a treat. This 11th annual event involves a series of races around the Lake at Tualatin Commons by costumed skippers riding in massive, hollowed-out, 1000-lb. pumpkin boats. While the boat races are certainly the highlight of the day, there’s also pumpkin decorating, face-painting, live music, clown shows and a pie-eating contest.

Oct. 18
Tualatin Lake of the Commons
8325 SW Nyberg Rd.
Tualatin, Or
Online: tualatinoregon.gov

Where does you family celebrate the harvest season? Let us know in the Comments section below!

–Suzie Ridgway